Reckless Driving Definitions Vary By State
Most people think about moving violations in terms of expensive tickets, but some violations, like reckless driving or driving to endanger, are considered serious enough to have harsher penalties. Most states define reckless driving or DTE as driving that poses a risk to others, and the driver recognizes but ignores that risk. In Maine, they use the term driving to endanger. I, Albert Hansen, am a former prosecutor and I understand how these cases are charged and pursued. I can help you make the right choices for your situation.
Penalties for Reckless Driving or Driving to Endanger Can Threaten Your License
Many people know they could face fines for moving violations, but don’t think of the effect on their license. In New Hampshire, however, your first reckless driving conviction includes a minimum $500 fine and a 60-day suspension of your license. In Massachusetts, your first reckless driving conviction may include up to two years of jail time, up to $200 in fines and a minimum 60-day suspension of your license. In Maine, driving to endanger carries a mandatory minimum penalty of $500 fine and 30-day loss of license. And, be careful, a Massachusetts driver convicted of negligent operation in New Hampshire is treated as if he or she committed DTE in Massachusetts. So, even though New Hampshire will not suspend, Massachusetts will suspend.
When Does It Make Sense to Plead to Reckless Driving or Driving to Endanger?
Despite the harsh penalties a reckless driving or DTE conviction may bring, sometimes it is better than the alternative if you are facing a DUI/OUI. People often plead down their DUI/OUI charge to a reckless driving or DTE charge or driving to endanger, commonly referred to as a “wet reckless.” I will use my more than 20 years of experience to help you determine if a plea deal is the best option for you, or if you should fight the charges you are facing.
Find Out How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
Put my experience to work for you. I am a lawyer licensed in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and have offices in Portsmouth and Kennebunk. Call me today at 603-369-6903 for a free consultation, or send me an email.